Studies in Australian History: The Price of Health: Australian Governments and Medical Politics 1910-1960
By James Alexander Gillespie
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
No area of social welfare in Australia has seen as much conflict as health policy. Clashes have involved the medical profession, bureaucrats, friendly societies and political parties, often to the detriment of the patient. This 1991 book provides background to the current debate by studying the political conflict over health policy in Australia from 1910-60. It looks at both state and national levels for the origins of the system of publicly subsidized private practice epitomized in the fee-for-service scheme. The different currents within state policy are analysed along with the various obstructions to the development of the national health insurance policy. The role of the British Medical Association, which in its indigenous form continues to have a hostile relationship with the government because of its determination to maintain its independence and fee-for-service practices, is closely examined. The Price of Health will be of particular interest to health policy makers.